Flows on the East Walker have flatlined out at 19 cfs.. I will wait until they bump it up a little before making the trip over the hill… stay tuned.. I can’t stop thinking of the Browns that river holds!!
The Upper Owens is still a frigid meadow for winter fishing but the weather has warmed a bit allowing some snow to melt. Temperature highs are in the high 40’s to lower 50’s. In the morning things are frozen and driving is easy.. Later on things can get sloppy.. Use only a 4wd when driving on the east side of the river. The flow continues to be just above 100 cfs. Small nymphs such as WD-40’s in dark greens and blacks, small PT’s and hares ears around size # 16, and prince nymphs in similar sizes continue to bring trout to the net. Dont forget to bring your midge patterns as well…Look for rising fish in the foam (foam is home!) The traditional streamer strip up along the undercut banks also produces strong tugs. Go bigger on the streamers here as I usually find they dont mind chasing down the big meat on the Upper O. Or try a larger streamer followed by a smaller one to figure out what they want for their protein for the day!
Hot Creek continues to fish well! Warmer weather has pushed a little more bug movement. Like the Upper O use small WD-40’s and midge patterns once again in dark greens and blacks. Very small PT’s and small baetis emergers continue to get some attention. Try all of these patterns in sizes #18-#22. Rises to midges and very small baetis occur more often than last month, if you want to take them on the dries, spot a rising fish to try the midge or baetis dry. Place accurate casts over them until you trick their instincts and he decides to bite, patience is needed here. As always certain sections of the river will fish well when a small bugger or streamer pattern is pulled by their lips. Always a pleasure to fish and ALWAYS an education!
Hot Creek seems to always fish well, you just have to adjust to the conditions nature throws at you. Like the Upper O use small WD-40’s and midge patterns once again in dark greens and blacks. Very small PT’s and small baetis emergers also get some attention. Try all of these patterns in sizes #18-#22. Rises to midges and very small baetis occur here and there, if you want to take them on the drys when you see a fish rise a few times in the same spot try the midge or baetis dry and cast and cast some more until you get mr. trouts number and he decides to rise to your pattern. As always certain sections of the river will fish well when a small bugger or streamer pattern is pulled by their face. Dress warm and let the day go by….
The Lower Owens flows have been adjusted to 123 cfs of water being delivered out of PV dam.. This level have been beneficial to floating and will most likely stick around these levels for some time. Fishing remains strong although this cold front with the high wind speed did slow things down a little. The hatch is still minimal with sporadic rises of fish here and there with not much rhyme or reason. Nymphing and streamers still continue to pull fish out of the depths. The # 16 midge emerger in dark green, olive or black continues to produce, hares ears and PT’s in similar sizes, The rob0 PT #14-18, and any sort of green caddis worm in the same sizes will produce fish. Steamers fished low and slow or swung off the banks stimulate strikes. Most colours of streamers have been working for us; greys, olives, browns and blacks. It will be interesting to see how active the fish are after this front passes. I am expecting them to be “on the chew”
The Lower Owens is still flowing at 99 cfs which makes for some great fishing.. The river is accessable at this level and fly fishers can expect large numbers of fish with some large fish mixed in if they read the river and fish it right.. My float trips have been seeing some great numbers of fish each time out… The hatch has not seemed to be as strong the last few days yet it continues to come off right around 12:00… CDC tied BWO’s in size 16’s – 20’s are eaten upon landing on the water with a proper and accurate cast. Parachute adams in the same sizes will also fool the rising trout. Nymphing is very strong as usual… soft hackle PT’s really get eaten as well as normal PT’s fished in sizes #16- 18’s…. Z-wing caddis, and midge emergers in dark brown and black are also very reliable. My old saying “foam is home” still applies when seeking out the fishiest spots to present the nymphs…. Streamers of various types are always taking fish.. the pumpkin bugger really stood out the last week.. the usual whites and grays are also getting eaten like thanksgiving turkey.. Purple is also a colour of streamer that can bring fish to the net.. I expect this river to get better as time rolls on… I look forward to floating this river every day…. Dont miss this fishery right now!!
Water is down and the weeds remain…. Fish have tucked themselves into every possible hiding spot they can fit their large bodies into.. Fish the small runs and slots between the weeds and perfect your technique… Tiger and disco style midges are working well here also.. but use colours in black and olive… brown will also work in these patterns… small mayfly patterns in olive and brown colours will fish good as well. If you are accurate and quick enough pull a streamer through any open water and get a violent surprise! Large fish can be seen right now and one chance is all you get…..
The Upper Owens continues to flow at a good rate higher than earlier this summer, the current flows are right around 100 cfs… This is still a fishable flow and the days are still warming up to comfortable temperatures. Hatches seem to be sparse and unpredictable. Midges can be seem emerging in certain areas throughout the day.. Flies to trick fish include tiger or disco style midges in red and black colours. Caddis worms tied with some sparkle on the head in a bright green on top of the midges is a worthy combination.. As always standard Pt’s and various soft hackles can also be tasty to fish at this time… Streamer patterns stripped upstream by the banks, thrown to the opposite bank and stripped across back and down, or swung will hook you fish.. Try using a multi-coloured streamer, do be afraid to go large…
The Lower O has been producing some great fish with some great hatches as well… The flows are down to very fishable levels and passing a full day on this water leaves a fly angler feeling fish satisfied! Having been fishing it for the last few days out of a drift boat it has been a diverse river. First of all a great BWO hatch comes off like clockwork starting around 12:30pm. Certain places that would not normally hold trout seem to come alive with boils and water displacing strikes. Use 6x here with your favorite BWO pattern in sizes #18-20’s.. I have been using some parachute patterns as well as CDC patterns. Nymphs are always getting fish attention here with some green caddis worms around the #16 size and various Zebra midges.. the midge emergers with the little tuft of white out the top of the bead seem to attract more attention. Small PT’s and WD-40’s also get eaten and should be in your box to complete your set here and not leave you feeling left out. Streamers are getting chomped when fished correctly.. Purple seems to get more attention right now than most.. go large on the streamers, you will be pleasently surprised.. Multicolour streamers also seem to attract more attention.. stay tuned as I will be fishing Hot Creek and the Upper Owens in the next couple of days…
As most of you know I am still up here in MT finishing up some guiding, teaching other potential guides at a fly fishing guiding school http://www.flyfishguidetraining.com/ and taking advantage of the fall fishing.. I am also tying up a deal on a driftboat for guiding on the Lower Owens and have zeroed in on which one I am getting..a beautiful Stu Williams classic wooden boat like the ones I grew up with..I will be back at the end of the month and will be putting in overtime on all the eastern sierra waters to make up for lost time!! See you all soon… My fishing report will be updated as soon as I arrive and get on the water as I don’t feel good about posting reports on water I really have not fished lately…